About the Author
After studying Linguistics and international Studies at Surrey University, I went into print journalism, working my way up from local to national newspapers. I joined Granada Television in 1994 and went on to produce and direct documentaries for all the major terrestrial broadcasters. In 2008 I had a beautiful little girl called Marnie, who inspires me every day. Now my work covers the whole media and social media spectrum. Catherine as well




To Marnie (JB) Patrick, Joe and Jess (CD) You inspire us every day


Sarah Jones Azafady


Jayne Brierley & Catherine Dolan



Copyright © J a y n e B r i e r l e y & C a t h e r i n e D o l a n

The right of Jayne Brierley & Catherine Dolan to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. Any person who commits any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library. ISBN 978 1 84963 129 7 www.austinmacauley.com First Published (2012) Austin & Macauley Publishers Ltd. 25 Canada Square Canary Wharf London E14 5LB

Printed & Bound in Great Britain



My Madagascar is an educational textbook based on the everyday life of a little girl who lives in Madagascar. Balbiny describes life in her own words and shares with us original and personal photographs of her friends, family and life around her home and school. We hope you enjoy learning about the country by looking at it through the eyes of a pupil your age. We have tried to make it both educational and fun. At the end of each chapter we have included some activities for you to do as exercises in school, either individually or as a class. After working your way through the book, under the section Your Madagascar, we suggest you experiment and explore the country for yourselves, applying what you have learned and researched. Try copying the style of the book by making your own presentation, scrapbook, video or website. We think teachers will find My Madagascar an important educational resource as languages are now compulsory at Key Stage 2 and at Key Stage 3, the study of French-speaking countries is included in the French Scheme of Work.


T h e B o o k ’s A i m

To give schoolchildren an understanding of the broader aspects of language whilst respecting the requirements for cross-curricular work.

To encourage the use of books as an educational tool by making this one accessible, attractive and entertaining.

To guide students to use the Internet as a research tool in an intelligent and responsible way.

To give teachers a reliable and entertaining teaching tool that will attract children, hold their interest and also give them an exciting media experience.

We hope you enjoy it. Have fun!


Hi! My name is Balbiny and I live in Madagascar. Let me introduce you to my country, my family life and friends.


An Overview
An introduction to Madagascar

Have you any idea where Madagascar is? It’s a large island in the Indian Ocean off the East Coast of Africa. It’s actually the fourth largest island in the world and is also known as the ‘The Red Island’.


It’s about the same size as France but very few people live here. We have a smaller population than London. How many people live in your town? How does that compare to the number of people who live in my country?

Population: 20.2 million Area: 587,041 sq km (226,658 sq miles) Location: Indian Ocean Largest City in Madagascar: Antananarivo Language: The official languages are Malagasy (which is related to Indonesian) and French. Local dialects are also spoken. English is not widely spoken. Religion: 52% follow animist beliefs; about 41% Christian; remainder Muslim General Climate: Tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south Natural Hazards: Periodic cyclones Monetary unit: Ariary



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Create an info box like the one above for your own country Compare and contrast it with Madagascar Now pick another country of your choice and create an info box

Country: Population: Area: Location: Largest City: Language: Religion: General Climate: Natural Hazards: Monetary unit:


Country: Population: Area: Location: Largest City: Language: Religion: General Climate: Natural Hazards: Monetary unit:


Understanding the weather and its impact

We have two seasons in Madagascar. From November to April we have hot rainy weather. From May to October it is cooler and drier. Thunderstorms are common in the rainy season and lightning can be a real hazard. The climate varies depending on where you live. Where I live in a small rural village in the south east of the island, the weather can be very wet and windy. The east coast gets a lot of rain, an average 3.5m of rain every year. The west coast is much drier. It is partly desert in the south west. Sometimes we have cyclones, which can be very destructive and dangerous.



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Create your own weather map of Madagascar. Use the map below to help you. Working in small groups, imagine you work for a local TV station in Madagascar. Your task is to present a weather report for the week ahead * How about presenting the weather forecast in French? Madagascar experiences cyclones. Imagine what that must be like for the people living there. Explain what a cyclone is and then write a story about living through one.





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